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WIEC Fat Free Radio

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Other Great Eau Claire Community Radio Stations

WHYS 96.3 FM

WRFP 101.9 FM

 


THE BASICS OF LOW POWER FM RADIO

WHAT IS LOW POWER RADIO (LPFM) SERVICE?

Low power FM radio (LPFM) refers to over a thousand 10 watt or 100 watt radio stations. That's easily enough to cover a small city. By comparison, full power FM stations usually have between 6,000 to 100,000 watts of power, and broadcast over an 18-60 mile radius. LPFM stations are located throughout the FM band. They will be licensed only to local, community-based and nonprofit entities.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO WITH AN LPFM STATION?

Every thing you can do with a full power FM radio station. But because LPFMs are not bent on profit, they can provide the type of programming not found on corporate owned radio stations. for example:

  • Provide local radio service to small cities, large and small towns, and neighborhoods
  • Provide information to union members at a large plant or discuss controversial issues
  • Present music and culture not heard on "top 40" or NPR
  • Broadcast in languages not heard on full power stations
  • Train students or community residents in radio broadcast techniques or provide church services to shut-ins or offer nontraditional formats, such as political talk, poetry, blues, jazz, classical, polka, reggae, soca or hip-hop

LPFM is intended to provide an alternative to the often homogeneous, non-controversial, non-local programming that dominates the airwaves today.

WHAT CAN'T WE DO WITH AN LPFM STATION?

Make money. WIEC Radio will be operated noncommercial; however, unlike full power noncommercial stations, LPFM's will be located throughout the FM band. As an LPFM, we must meet the FCC's definition of a "noncommercial educational broadcast station."

LPFM is not a "license to print money." LPFMs are a labor of love for those who love broadcasting and love their communities.

 

WHY COULDN'T WE JUST STREAM AUDIO OVER THE INTERNET INSTEAD?

We can certainly do that -- in fact, there's no reason we can't put the LPFM station on the net. But bear in mind that millions of Americans don't have access to the net at home. Almost no one has access to the net on a Walkman, on a bicycle or in an automobile. There will never be a substitute for the immediacy, interactivity, culture and local sensitivity of radio.